US Stocks Edge Higher on Positive Economic Data

Daniel Fowler
December 6, 2019

Santa walks the floor of the New York Stock Exchange before joining Marine Toys for Tots opening bell ceremonies, Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019.

Stocks closed broadly higher on Wall Street, gaining back some of the ground they lost over the previous three trading days.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.7% to 26,389.36 while the Nikkei 225 in Japan rose 0.3% to 23,358.72. The Australian S & P ASX 200 gained 0.3% to 6,700.20. Shares also rose in Taiwan and Southeast Asia.

U.S. -listed Chinese companies traded mostly higher on Thursday with all of the top 10 stocks by weight in the S&P U.S. Listed China 50 index ending the day on an upbeat note.

"Whether or not U.S". It is arguably the only game in town scheduled for the next bargaining round before December 15, "the Mizuho Bank said in a commentary".

US trade gap narrows 7.6% to $47.2 billion in October
Inflation-adjusted petroleum exports rose to a record $23.9 billion, narrowing the real trade gap for petroleum to $4.1 billion. If it persists through December, the smaller gap could give a boost to gross domestic product in the fourth quarter.

"However, there is still no clarity about the deal. But soothing remarks on "progress" from those involved in the talks appears to have infused some hope and cut tensions", the Mizuho report said.

Meanwhile, fresh economic data Thursday showed the number of Americans applying for first-time unemployment benefits fell last week, declining to a level lower than that expected by economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal. Even with the latest gain, the benchmark index is on track for a weekly loss, though it's still up 24.4% for the year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.1% to 27,677.79. The Nasdaq composite gained 46.03 points, or 0.5%, to 8,566.67. President Donald Trump also said Wednesday that he believed trade talks with Beijing were going 'very well'.

A rebound in the price of crude sent oil-related stocks to the market's biggest gains. Apple rose 1.5%. The sector has much to gain, or lose, in trade negotiations because numerous companies rely heavily on China for sales and supplies.

Financial stocks were strong after a rise in interest rates boosted profit expectations for companies making loans and sitting on large investment portfolios. ViacomCBS led the sector, climbing 3.6%.

The Brazil Steel Institute, which represents the interests of steel exporters, said in a statement that the new tariffs would hurt not only Brazilian companies, but also United States steel companies, as they would need the semi-finished products imported from Brazil.

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